Sunday, June 14, 2015
MY HUSBAND'S GREAT GREAT GRANDFATHER, EDWIN RUSHTON, OF MORMON FAME
Good morning dear friends around the world! So I was poking around adding stuff to my Family Tree Maker via Ancestry.com last night (you know, little green leaves, lol!). I decided to work on a paternal line of my husband's. His genealogy is so full of fantastic stories! Mine absolutely pales in comparison, Puritan founding fathers cannot hold a candle to Mormon pioneers! Last night's "family story of the night" was a gem. My husband's great, great grandfather turns out to be a famous person within the Mormon community and history, at least. (This is the second reknowned -in -Mormon -circles great grandfather of his, the other being Henry Grow, architect of the Mormon Tabernacle here in Salt Lake City). Well this one, is Edwin Rushton from Leek, Staffordshire, England, from a (happy, singing) family of silkmakers there. He and some of his family including his parents and a sister were converted to Mormonism and made there way to America, coming to Nauvoo, Illinois via New Orleans up the Mississippi River. Then the fantastic stories begin (and yes, I was looking at my husband rather askance as I read these to him last night, wondering what on earth was in his genes!). He apparently became intimate friends with the founder of the Mormon faith (or prophet as they refer to him) Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith, met him personally as he made his way into the community in Nauvoo. Some of Edwin's family was already settled there, and a young girl named Sarah led him through the forest to where these family members were residing. Several years later, in Utah Territory, he married that young girl, taking her as his second or third wife, I forget now which. That girl is the one my husband is descended from. THEN, Edwin had a "Vision" which led him to unearthing a Seer Stones (these are things that Joseph Smith came across in the founding of his religion), making Edwin one of a handful of close friends of Joseph Smith's to find such a Stone, just like those Joseph Smith had found previously. Apparently it is clear, something like a crystal?!, and resides with a descendant currently somewhere in the Salt Lake City area. There is much written about this in many books and is quite a famous incident in the faith, etc. After many troubles and travails Edwin and his (first) wife make their way to Utah, where he marries more wives and has many children. Second famous incident he is mainly responsible for, and which an entire Wikipedia article is devoted to, along with many books, much documentation and scholarship: "The White Horse Prophecy". (Looking very askance at husband at this point)...Edwin Rushton recorded down this prophecy which involved the disintegration of the U.S. government, and even had Russian Czars in it somewhere! It was later proven to be fabricated, as it was supposed to have been words of Joseph Smith's in the 1850's but was apparently, instead, created by Edwin Rushton in the very early 1900's. The church repudiated this prophecy and many have attributed it to an elderly man writing down memories, some of which were quotes of Joseph Smith and some of which were his own creations. Ok, well that is enough of a genealogy and history lesson for today, I'm' sure! LOL!!